Monday, February 23, 2009

Brise Glace - When In Vanitas

Label: Skin Graft
Year: 1994

Please allow me to bring the room down for a moment, won't you? Not all the way down, but let's ratchet back a bit. We shall take a quick respite from the scraping noise rock of previous posts, and instead delve into the droning art rock of Brise Glace, who in retrospect are dubbed a "super group", but at the time, it was just another Jim O'Rourke project existing parallel with his more "famous" band, Gastr Del Sol. The personnel involved were, Darin Gray (Dazzling Killmen, You Fantastic!), Thymme Jones (Cheer-Accident, You Fantastic!), Dylan Posa (The Flying Luttenbachers, Cheer-Accident), and the aforementioned Jim O'Rourke (Illusion Of Safety, Gastr Del Sol, Sonic Youth, Wilco, Loose Fur, Red Krayola, and on and on). You may note, this same group of dudes would go on to meet up with KK Null in Chicago and record the Yona Kit album at Steve Albini's studio, an album I believe was posted on this very blog a minute back. And just for completion's sake, this record was also recorded by Steve Albini, so there you go.
O'Rourke claims this was his take on a "rock band", and while it does certainly contain elements of rock music, live drums, electric guitar, and electric bass, those elements are cut and spliced by O'Rourke post performance to create a uniquely odd collage of sounds. There are moments that drone and buzz, and moments that push forward like a conventional rock song. It can be mellow, or caustic, usually within the span of a single song, but it never gives you that whiplash of forced tempo changes (I'm looking at you, Mike Patton's entire discography), it all seems to flow.
Give it a shot, especially if you think that art rock, or experimental guitar, or avant-whatever are pompous horse shit. I think this record is a good bridge from traditional rock music into the world of shit. You will like it.


James Joyce said...

You should really post the Skin Graft 7" as well. That one has three overlapping drum tracks, and is awesome. I remember "DJing" at MJQ rock night once and playing a song off this album. It didn't get a very good crowd response, as you might guess.

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The Thing That Should Not Be said...

I dug/dig MOST of the Skin Graft stuff, and THIS is no exception, although I did prefer the Yona Kit LP. Kudos to you for putting this out there!

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